The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?
What does earth mean to me? Oh man, lots of things, as most things do. They all kind of intertwine with each other, though some seem more mundane than others.
Physically, earth is the earth, it is our planet, it is the ground we walk upon each day, and provides all we need to be protected, safe, and nourished. We are of the earth, and the earth is us (I often think of that scene in the Lion King where Mufasa is telling Simba that they eat the antelope, and when they die, they become the grass that the antelope eat).
I also view all living creatures as well as those things we don’t view as living as cells of a large organism, working together, or not so much, in order to keep surviving. I think now that we’ve come to the 20th century, and have a plethora of ways in which we survive much more easily (re: vaccines), we really should be seeking to work in better harmony with our lands more than ever. We have so many more people on this planet than we did 100 years ago, hell, in 1804 there were only a billion people on the entire planet. It’s only been 200+ years, and we now have over 7 billion. We really need to start farming in ways that will truly be sustainable, not just for the crops, but for the land those crops are grown upon. If the land is completely stripped of nutrients, erroded, etc., we’ll keep losing land for crops for ourselves, and keep harming the land for anything else to live on as well for a long time afterwards.
Another part is obviously finding better ways to fuel our transportation. If we throw our climate too much out of whack, it’s not the soil we’ll have to be worrying about, it’s how fucked up we’re going to make our weather and storms. You can plant all the crops you like, but if it’s too cold, too hot, or lots of nasty hail storms come by, we’re not going to be eating. A lot of earth work for me obviously ties in to tending the earth, tending our home, creating a planet that will sustain many, many generations of our descendants, and unfortunately, capitalism only thinks about how much money can be made now, screw the consequences.
There’s also the elemental aspect of earth, that of being a foundation, of grounding, of being the place you return to. Earth is strong, it is nourishing, it will support you. It is where you plant the seeds you’d like to germinate, and where you bury the things that are dead.
Alright, so how does this support my work as it were? If you haven’t read my blog before, I like to garden (I missed it very much when we lived out West where all I could have was a potted garden). I also love to go on bike rides out on my favourite path. I often clean up jerks’ garbage on the trail (it seems there is always more garbage on the trail when I bring along an offering for the wights of the trail, and I have no qualms if it wants me to help clean up as well as leaving the offerings). The gardening for me holds a lot of magick, it’s where I can work with the land wights around me, the wights of all the vegetables I grow, and really instill nourishment and love into the food I feed my family, as well as put love back into the earth. I also have lots of flowers, many of which have been chosen to entice the bees, my effort to bring balance to the ecosystem of my yard, and in turn the area around us.
I suppose there’s a lot earth in the work I do, which isn’t surprising, being a Taurus and all.
I do a lot of grounding as well, calling my flailing self back to center to see with more clarity the situations at hand. Since I probably ground myself a few times a day, oftentimes without acknowledging that’s what I’ve done, I’ve built up its effectiveness, which has been especially helpful when depression rears its head. It’s not that the earth energies get rid of the depression, it just allows me to be restful in it. It allows me to stop the flail, like I said, and then just look at the depression from farther away. I often just remind myself of the bigger picture of my life, that things are actually pretty great, that I’m just feeling like this right now because my brain gets a little messed up every now and again. Just rest. Just be with this.
I feel that’s a big part of what the earth in me deals with, it’s always the place I return to, the resting grounds, which eventually turn into the ground I jump off from again.
And to pull it all together, why would the energy of the earth want to work with me if I mistreat it? If I keep doing things that harm it, all the plants and creatures, how could I possibly even consider calling on the earth in my magickal and spiritual work? This is why I do what I can, though it may seem small in the scheme of things, to tend the piece of land I can with respect and love. This is not the only reason, but a very good one in working with anyone. You don’t go in someone’s house and trash the place, then expect them to be happy about helping you out when you need it. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d seek some sort of vengence.
As I said, this is not the only reason, but something that is important for our own survival, as well as a reflection of my reverence of nature, because am I not myself part of nature, recycled bits of earth?